Prenatal Core Week 6: Postpartum Recovery

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Postnatal Plan

I really appreciate Kelly bringing this up. After the baby is born don’t obsess about recovery in the beginning. The important thing, is to connect with your baby. Splinting afterwards is helpful, if you find it comfortable. If not, don’t worry about it and pick it up later.

I probably haven’t gotten as much out of this program as I would have liked, but I really like Kelly’s reminder to integrate the various stretches and abdominal engagements throughout things you are already doing after baby is born. When you nurse the baby, when you change the baby, when you pee. Since the last week or two of this program I’ve mostly been doing integrated motion. I have trouble counting and remembering to get everything in, but I try to use certain triggers throughout the day to help me. (Sitting for meals, brushing my teeth, standing in the kitchen, etc.)

Transitioning back to fitness. Fit2B Studio continues to be my primary plan. It will be hard to really slow down and take it from the beginning but those Foundational Five will probably be all that I can manage in the beginning anyway.

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Update

Since I originally wrote this post, I had my baby!

Simon Edward Vitaro was born on Tuesday September 15. (It’s hard to believe it’s already been more than a week). He came nine days early and after a 19 hour labor, which is the longest of my three. I’m sure I’ll be sharing more details in the future, but I just wanted to briefly highlight how The Tummy Team helped during my labor and delivery. By the end of my pregnancy I was splinting almost constantly which I continued during my labor, including pushing. I believe this helped a lot by taking pressure of the muscles and ligaments. I also made good use of belly breaths during contractions, at least until close to the end. I’ll admit that when the time to push came, I wasn’t thinking about proper pushing form and technique, it just kind of happened and very quickly. So hopefully I didn’t totally destroy my core as my little boy entered the world at top speed.

I’ve also been splinting postpartum and feel as though things are shrinking down much faster than my last two. Knowing that the splint is helping to hold my core together while I recover is giving me some peace of mind as I mostly focus on rest and taking care of my baby.

If you’ve been debating trying out The Tummy Team, now is the time.
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The Tummy Team

Fit2B New Moms: Week 2

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It is getting very hard to stay active at this point in my pregnancy. We just came through another high temperature week with very high eighties and low nineties, which is way too hot for this pregnancy lady. So walking or even going outside much has been out of the question. It has been hard to keep myself going with any kind of exercise. But I want to make sure I’m still ready for this upcoming (hopefully sooner rather than later) delivery.

Day 1

Totally Transverse
Maternity Mix I

I’ve done this workout before, but it has been a while and I wasn’t sure how my current condition would work with it. There were portions that I had to be very cautious and really listen to my body (especially the side leg series) but mostly I found it to be a great way to keep my body moving, even when it takes a lot of effort and it’s easier to stay still.

Day 2

Mula Bandha
Maternity Mix II
Pregnancy Stretching with Kelly

This was a great workout. While Maternity Mix II is a little more physically demanding, it is also a bit shorter which helps with that. As usual the Pregnancy Stretching with Kelly is a big hit and something I strive to work in daily where I can. I felt very confident today, as I was able to do almost everything in this workout. This makes me feel better since my mobility has been so limited lately. It’s possible my efforts to do something, no matter how minimal, everyday are paying off.

Day 3

Totally Transverse II
Maternity Mix III

This is definitely a more ambitious workout than the other two maternity mixes. While I’ve done it before, I’ll admit that this time I had to stop halfway through. Next time I do it I might have to try it without the dumb bells. As I’m getting so close to the end, (hopefully just a couple weeks now) I want to stay active but I also don’t want to workout to the point of exhaustion. Bethany Learn always says you should feel energized after a workout and ready for your day, not so tired that you need to go back to bed. I’m trying to find where that fine line is this pregnancy.

Day 4

Basic Transverse & Mula Bandha
Maternity Yoga 
Neck Routine

I enjoyed this gentle combination. I’m looking forward to the slightly more tummy safe refilm of Maternity Yoga but this one is still totally doable. The neck routine was also welcome respite for my sore neck and upper back. Plus, any opportunity to workout while sitting down is also great.

Guess what? Only four days this week. This whole project is turning out a bit different than I planned. Rather than getting progressively more difficult, each week I’m doing a little less, but striving to at least do something. So if I do in fact make it through week 3 and 4 of this routine, you’ll see lots of stretching, gentle maternity workouts and Foundational Five, rather than my usual fare of solid aerobics and strong Pilates.

But I know I’m not the only pregnant lady who feels like just moving at all by the end is difficult, let alone official exercise. Don’t be discouraged (I’m trying not to be). You will be able to do these things again. Just try to focus on taking care of yourself and baby for these last few weeks.

Fit2B New Moms: Week 1

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Tummy Team Prenatal Core Week 5: Your Core Strong Birth Plan

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This week is probably the most maternity specific so far with discussion of core strong birth plan and preparing your home.

Kelly discusses ways to adjust your birth plan to make sure you are using your core as optimally as possible, including splinting during labor and even the pushing phase. She also points out how important it is to develop nursing positions that are supportive for your body as well as comfortable for you. The average mom spends 11-14 hours a day nursing in the beginning. Even if you are bottle feeding it is still important to make sure you support your back, neck, and feet.

For more details check out this post on creating a nursing throne.

She also deals with other common positions that can be potentially straining or damaging to your core such as how you change diapers, and get in and out of bed.

While some of this information was review for me, it was probably one of the more informative weeks. All the videos, I felt, helped me to prepare for both labor & delivery as well as those early days caring for my newborn.

At this point I am feeling quite fatigued, so remembered to do proper stretches and core exercises has been difficult. But I’m still trying to incorporate as much as I can. I hope I can reap some positive results even if I’m not doing everything right for the next few weeks.

The Tummy Team

Diaper Pails and Wipes: Cloth Diaper FAQ’s for New Moms

So far in this series we’ve talked about wash routines, and stripping. Now it’s time to get into the specifics of products and usage.

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What kind of diaper pail will I need to get? I want something that will contain the smell, but I’m not sure which brands of diaper pail work with cloth diapers.
I am a fan of the Busch Systems diaper pail and the pail liner from Cotton Babies, most for the convenience. I haven’t used the recommended deo discs though. We did buy carbon filters for a while but after baby number two we pretty much gave up. Some people just buy a garbage can and some reusable pail liners.

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Another option is a hanging diaper bag, such as Planet Wise or Bummis makes. I use the Bummis one for traveling and I like it. I do prefer a pail at home though because while the bags are waterproof if you diapers are sopping wet, which they often will be if you rinse them, the bags may eventually become damp on the outside and/or drip.

Starting up

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Other people don’t use either, but rather put each diaper directly into the washer and run a rinse cycle once a day until wash day. For us, this isn’t practical because our washer is in the basement. But if you have a first or second floor washer, this might work for you.
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Do you use reusable wipes as well? What kind?

I definitely prefer reusable wipes to disposable. I keep my wipes dry and wet them with a spray bottle. But my sister prefers a wipe warmer. Honestly the kind of wipe doesn’t matter much. I started out with the bumGenius wipes and I’m still fairly happy with them. Yes, they have taken a beating after two kids and some of them are stained or frayed, but they are diaper wipes. I don’t care how they look as long as they get the job done. I’ve also used Thirsties wipes which honestly weren’t worth it. They are pretty pricey. Except for really messy poops (the kind that stick to the bottom and just won’t wipe off. If you haven’t encountered these yet, you probably will at some point). The fleecy Thirsties wipes were the only thing that got it all off.

I also like these wipes from an Etsy seller Mama Bear. These a very multi-use. They make great wipes but in the pinch I’ll wet them to wipe off my son’s face or even blot the blood off a cut.

You can also make your own out of jersey (such as cutting up old T-shirts) or flannel (cutting up old receiving blankets). You can buy fabric new or upcycle old items you already have or can purchase inexpensively at a thrift store.

Some people prefer to use disposable wipes which is fine, but I like to be able to just throw my wipes into the pail with the diapers.

Fit2B New Moms: Week 1

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This is one of the few sections of Fit2B that I haven’t explored heavily yet. While I have tried several of the maternity specific workouts, I haven’t used all of them yet, and I haven’t tried this pathway yet, so I thought it would give me something to focus on (besides getting my house ready) during these last few weeks of pregnancy.

I’ll say right now that I can’t promise that I’ll get through all these workouts. I have five weeks to go (maybe a little more or less depending on baby) so if I suddenly disappear, don’t be alarmed, it probably just means that baby has arrived and the series has been suspended.

If you are in the third trimester, like me, listen carefully to your body. If a workout is too long or too hard, don’t finish it. But don’t beat yourself up either. Right now you want to stay active but you don’t want to injure yourself or push yourself too hard. Your primary job is to get ready for the arrival of baby and all the mental and physical work that goes with it.

Day 1

Labor Prep

This makes a great warmup to other workouts, but it can also stand alone. Like Squat Prep and Foam UNrolling this is more of a collection of suggestions than a full workout. But that’s OK. This short workout was a great review of much of what I learned in my birth class and gave me some good ideas to try for this next delivery. (Which will hopefully be soon).

 

Day 2

Pelvic Floor Connections

Restorative Poses 

This was a wonderful restorative workout. It was hard to get through with my kids yelling in the background. If you are in a place in your pregnancy where you can workout when your kids are asleep or elsewhere, do it. It will make these workouts much more relaxing. While I do have a little trouble with some of Pelvic Floor Connections at this point, it is still worth trying to do some of the exercises.

 

Day 3

Chair Pilates

Chair Yoga

I’ve been really struggling to fit exercise in for the last week or two so it felt great to be able to do these workouts. They were relaxing yet I still felt like I was working some muscles. Plus, since I was sitting I didn’t get the numb leg issues I sometimes struggle with or lose my stamina too quickly. (Honestly, I spend far too much of my day on my feet as it is, so this was a restful treat to be able to exercise sitting down).

 

Day 4

Chair Blend

I expected this to be very similar to the Chair Pilates and Chair yoga and while there was some overlap, this definitely has some differences that are worth noting. I really struggled to sit in proper alignment without slouching onto my tailbone, but fortunately the movements were simple enough that I was able to modify and really focus on alignment without having to completely give up the workout.

Basic Chair Fitness

This was my first time doing either of these workouts. The Basic Chair Fitness is a good one to keep around, especially during my later pregnancy and postpartum recovery. I was surprised by the amount of upper and lower body work that you can get out of this workout if you want to.

I think that these various chair routines and probably going to be an important part of my postpartum recovery and I may still come back to them before the end of this pregnancy.

 

Day 5

Kitchen Moves

As Bethany mentions in this video, this is more of a demonstration of suggested movements than a whole workout in itself. The first half the is more warm up or workout like however. I’m going to try to integrate more of these into my daily routine. (I actually worked on a batch of muffins while doing this workout).

I’m not sure exactly how many weeks I’ll be doing in this series. Officially I have three weeks left to my pregnancy, if baby arrives on time. (Though my last was ten days late). So whatever I don’t finish I’ll be sure to review during my postpartum recovery. I’m excited to make Fit2B part of my transition back this time around.

Fit2B New Moms Week 2

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Tummy Team Prenatal Core Week 4: Pelvis the Floor of Your Core

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Focus of the Week: Pelvis – The Floor of Your Core

The focus of this week is primarily on the pelvic floor. This is not something that I tend to have major issues with during pregnancy or otherwise, but I found the practice pushing video to be of some help. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to keep belly breathing during labor because it has become somewhat second nature by now.

I’ll admit that I thought I’d be feeling stronger by now. But I also know that I haven’t been as consistent as I’d like with this program. I’m also very close to the end of my pregnancy, so I’m fighting a bit of a losing battle. My body is going to continue to stretch to accommodate this growing child. I’m hopeful that this work will pay off during my recovery though.

I’m still struggling to consistently maintain good pelvic alignment, especially while sitting. I’m especially at the waddling phase so I’m trying to be very aware of my alignment when I walk. This program is definitely much harder to do while pregnant, at least compared to when I did Core Foundations last year. But as I said earlier, while I’m not seeing huge effects right now, I’m hopeful that I will see the fruits of these efforts later.

The Tummy Team

Dressing the Little Bum: What Is Stripping?

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When your diapers begin to leak or smell that means it’s time to strip. There are various philosophies on this both what to use and how often to do it. I will share with you how I do it, but here is a link to a much more extensive list of suggestions.

I’ve been told that ideally you shouldn’t need to regularly strip your diapers. I agree with this with one exception: all night nighttime diapers. My kids were both heavy wetters during the toddler years, meaning they generated large amounts of urine fairly quickly. Their diapers were sopping in the morning. If they used disposables they would be drenched from crotch to chin. With my son we have had to resort to wool covers for the first time to keep him dry. The overnight diapers we used always stunk. Nothing I could do prevented that. But when the ammonia would sting my eyes as I changed them or if they got rashes, then I knew it was time to strip the diapers. I usually strip night time diapers around once a month. Otherwise, strip your diapers only as needed.

Start with clean diapers. Wash your diapers as usual, perhaps modifying your routine slightly if you think the wash routine is the problem.

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Using Dawn

This should preferably be plain, blue non-ultra dawn. (Though I have used ultra in a pinch but only in miniscule amounts) Most methods recommend a tsp for front loaders. Then rinse, rinse, rinse. I usually run the longest possible hot cycle with an extra rinse, followed by two quick cycles with extra rinses hot or warm. If the diapers smell clean then you are probably done. Another recommended clue is that you should make sure you don’t see any suds left from the Dawn. However, if it doesn’t work, you can proceed further.

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Using Tea Tree Oil or Grapefruit Seed Extract

I love these two for stripping. Don’t use too much or it can leave residue on your diapers. I find that just a few drops of each works fine. Run the longest, hottest load with the largest amount of water. Then same as above, run additional wash cycles or rinse and spin cycles until they smell clean.

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Oxyclean soak

When I have ongoing stink issues I will soak the offending diapers in a bucket with cold water and oxyclean overnight and then put them in the washer to rinse for multiple cycles in the morning.

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Bleach- the last ditch effort

Chlorine Bleach is a huge no-no. But sometimes it’s the only thing that works. (bumGenius is one of the only brands that recommends the regular use of bleach on their inserts. ¼ cup in the front loading washer once a month.) I don’t recommend bleaching natural fiber diapers. I did once, years ago. I had an ongoing yeast issue and I was desperate. So I bleached my prefolds. They took a beating. They lasted me through the rest of my daughter’s diapering years but when it came around to my son they developed large holes and I eventually had to downgrade them to burb clothes and cleaning clothes. Use bleach at your own risk, but if it’s this or giving up, give it a try. Don’t use too much and make sure you rinse until you can’t smell bleach anymore.